Shadow of the Mist.
It is a so call “elite zone”, part of the end-game content designed to be very challenging. Will also consider it as PvPvPvE zone. Beside getting the typical rewards, you can exclusive rewards and token there too, but at a higher risk-reward structure.
Now for some more details…
Here is a basic color coded map.
The whole zone is sub-divied into 3 parts, one call the outer camp (the green circles around the outside). This is where you spawn, and some easy mobs for warm ups. The Outer Ring (the blue ring) is where most action would occur. It is the biggest and widest area, fill with events and harder mobs. There is also a big Boss mob that patrols (which are hard to kill). The Inner Circle (the red area) is where the “end” bosses are, and is the goal for playing in the zone.
But this is more than just a PvE zone. To make it more challenging and random (or more human element), it is also a PvP zone. Thus, there are several special rules and items exclusive to this zone.
<- Entrance ->
The entrance to this zone is treated much like entering a dungeon. You must join a group of 5 to enter. However, likely there is an entrance fee too (both to act as gold sink, and to make it feel more challenging, as well as more limiting) (estimated fee to be about 10s to 20s). Once enter, you will spawn into one of the Outer Camp (the green spots).
<- 4 Party Vs. ->
Notice there are 4 Outer Camp. That is because the zone support up to 4 party in the zone, together. Enemy parties will be treated as enemy (red names). However, the game does not need to start till all 4 party is filled. It will run with a game filling back system, where new parties will first try to fill in any spot unfilled, or if another party left, or if not, will create a new zone for it. Since there are not really an “end” to the zone, so no zone need to be close (unless all parties left). Also any party can join at any time (they don’t need to have a same start), and not a zone don’t need to have all party to play (1 party in a zone still would work fine).
<- Candles ->
However, the zone also have a special time limited to all player inside. At max, a party can stay in the zone for 2 hour. There is more than that. You need a “item” call Candles to remain in the zone, which come in varieties (small candles adds 1 min to your Timer, medium candle adds 3min to your time, large candle adds 5 min). They can be looted off the monster or enemy player, and be traded with other players too, but once leave the zone, they will be gone (thus can not save them up for future use). Each player start with 3 Large Candles (15 mins).
<- Soul Tokens ->
Soul Tokens are special tokens earn it the zone, either by loot, by killing other players, by doing in-zone events, and mostly, from the big chest in the end-boss. They can also be spend in the zone by special merchants, where you can buy in-zone buffs. They are also needed to open the gate to enter into the Inner Circle area. However, like Candles, you don’t keep them once you leave the zone. And any death will cost you some Soul Token too (like 20% of your holding). You must take the your Soul Token back to the Entrance/Exit at the Spawn Camp, where you can convert them to Soul Core Tokens (which are item you can keep). Than you can trade them later for Elite Gears much like Dungeons.
<- Monster Play ->
Notice I call it a PvPvPvE zone. There is an extra P. That is because beside the 4 party competition, your party also could face Player Monsters. You join a zone as a player monster any time (no entrance fee), and you don’ have to be in a party. As a Player Monster, you take on the look of a vengeful ghost. You can not attack any monster there, and only try to disrupt or kill other player parties. You joint the zone at random. Each zone can only have a limited Player Monsters (at a zone with full four party, many allow of 12 Player Monster roaming around).
<- The Game Flow ->
Here is how I see all the rules coming together, and how the game flows.
You join up with a Party. There, you and your group warm up a bit in the Green Area, killing some regular mob to earn some extra Candles to extend your Timer, as well as get use to your party members. Once ready, you set off in the more dangerous Outer Ring (Blue) zone. There, not only do you need to watch out for the boss mob roaming, and the mob becoming silver level (like dungeons) but also for other parties and player monster/ghost. Sometime, you must try to hide and avoid conflict, other time, you want to strike when the opportune is right. You want to keep doing events and killing mobs there, to earn more candles for your time, as well as enough Soul Tokens to let you get pass the gate and into the Inner Circle (red zone). Here, you likely would get less harassment from other players, but now need to face the bosses of the zone. Should be able to defeat it, you get the big chest rewards, but now, you must also try to make your dash back, so you can exit it with the loot.
<- Goal ->
The complexity of the rules is to both add “pressure” to the player, where death would have more significance that could result in wipe (you are not expect to succeed every time), as well as to increase the dynamic between the players and different parties. There could be time where you want to work together with an opponent party to take down a tough boss, or trade item with them. But there are also time where you might want to ambush another party, and take away their hard earn loots. It is trying to incorporate some of the elements of a survival-multi-player game, where each play through is unpredictable and feel more lively. The main goal is to give you a different “war-story” each time you play.
Shadow of the Mist - PvPvPvE Elite Zone
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